West Sussex SEN Assessment Team (SENAT)

Find out about the different roles in the SEN Assessment Team.

West Sussex Educational Needs Assessment Team (SENAT) works with pupils who already have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and considers and conducts assessments for those who may require an EHCP.

SENAT does not directly assess children. The processes and decisions the team coordinate are based on the professional advice provided to them as part of the assessment or annual review process.

You can find contact details on Local Offer.

Details of each role in the SENAT team are given below.

Principal Service Lead

The Principal Service Lead:

  • holds overall responsibility for the SEN Assessment Team
  • offers line management support to the team managers and operational lead
  • seeks to regularly monitor and review the service and its performance and develop and improve practice through careful analysis
  • represents SENAT in strategic work associated with the support of children and young people with SEND in West Sussex.

Operational Lead

The Operational Lead:

  • offers line management to a team of staff who primarily offer countywide support to children and young people with EHCPs
  • offers tasks management support to team managers and special needs officers
  • oversees the delivery of SENAT’s core functions and operational responsibilities including analysis of performance and feedback with a view to developing whole service practice as required.

Specialist advisory teachers (Transition)

Specialist advisory teachers (Transition):

  • offer transition support to a small caseload of children transitioning from primary to secondary school with EHCPs. Caseload identified by SENAT.
  • are up to 2-year fixed term project roles (April 2021 to April 2023) to analyse impact and consider future developments.

Team Managers

The team has five team managers who work closely together. 

Each team manager:

  • manages a small team operating within either our North or South areas
  • is responsible for a specific caseload
  • ensures their team members conduct EHC needs assessments and annual reviews, in line with statutory requirements.

Senior Planning Coordinators - North and South

There are five senior planning coordinators (SPCs) working across the two larger North and South teams.

Senior planning coordinators offer day-to-day support to the planning coordinators and caseworkers, such as:

  • progressing pupils' assessments and reviews
  • providing oversight and guidance, as appropriate.

They may also deputise for the team manager, as required. 

Senior Planning Coordinators - Preparation for Adulthood

There are five senior planning coordinators (SPCs) who focus on preparation for adulthood.

Senior planning coordinators:

  • are annually allocated caseloads of older young people approaching adulthood
  • are primarily focused on supporting the review and amendment of EHCPs for older young people
  • may also support new assessments. 

Planning Coordinators

There is a large team of planning coordinators, each situated either within the North or South team and line managed by a team manager. Each pupil who is either being considered for assessment, being assessed or has an EHCP will be allocated a planning coordinator (or senior planning coordinator to help them prepare for adulthood).

Planning coordinators:

  • coordinate the assessment or annual review process
  • draft EHCPs, seeking advice where required
  • liaise with settings to secure placements.

They do this with the support and guidance of the SPCs and team managers.


There are five caseworkers who offer specialist administrative support to all the work that SENAT undertakes.

Special Needs Officers

There are six special needs officers who:

  • are qualified teachers
  • offer support and guidance to schools in meeting the needs of learners with EHCPs
  • provide a link between the service and our settings
  • will offer training and support, as required. 

Post-16 Officer

SENAT's post-16 officer supports:

  • a range of processes specifically related to young people over the age of 16, such as helping with high-needs funding in colleges
  • the more complex assessments and reviews. 

Tribunal Officer

The tribunal officer:

  • offers specialist support associated with the SEN appeal process
  • liaises with relevant partners
  • works closely with the County Council's Legal Services.
Last updated:
24 June 2021
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